…”Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.” The first reading on this Feast of the Epiphany speaks powerfully of our cause for our Hope. Jesus comes as the Prince of Peace and the Radiant Light that is a beacon of light and hope to all the people. We need to bask in the radiance of the Light of Christ and, like the Magi, use our lives and our gifts to bring the Light of Christ to all the world. Let your light shine!!!
…Let your light shine!!! Over the past few weeks, some of our members have discerned how to use their gifts and talents to serve the Lord and continue the work and ministry of our parish community. This past Tuesday we had two funerals, and after one of them, I heard a person offer to join our New Life Choir…wonderful. Another person came to a funeral and signed up to be a Funeral Mass Server….blessed. I stopped by the Quilting Ministry group tonight to find two new members have joined this wonderful group who help create a beautiful mosaic of our parish. The examples could go on and on. How will you share your gifts, like the Magi, with the Lord? We need you and your gifts for the glory of God and the good of our parish community.
…One more example of ‘sharing the light.’ Early this week one of our wonderful members who helps take care of our gardens took advantage of the warm weather and was doing a little cleaning to make sure the leaves were up and our parish grounds looked great. While there she met someone who was clearly looking for a way into the Church. She offered a warm greeting….some kind words….and some guidance….which lead to this person, away from the Church for many years, to find her way back to the Lord – and to the life of the Church. Let your light shine.
…Hopefully, you were able to pick up your 2017 calendar at Christmas or last weekend at the doors of the Church. There are still a few left at the doors of the Church. Special thanks to our Community Partners for making these inspiring calendar possible. The pages are filled with good information about our parish, and wonderful images and quotes about the Radiant Light of Christ alive and present in our lives and in our world. Sadly, we had a major blip for the month of July. You will be receiving a copy of “JULY” in the parish newsletter coming to your home next week. It’s a sticker that can be placed on the month of July. Sorry for the mistake and the hassle.
…At Christmas, we gave a great gift to 3500 people. They received the new Matthew Kelly book, Resisting Happiness. Many have already started the book and are finding it a helpful and uplifting read. Truth be told, every book we had went home with someone. We have ordered some additional copies that will make their way to the book rack in the next week or so. It’s one more way we can all let our light shine a little more in the New Year.
…Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the joy of giving out many copies of the Prayer Book for Expectant Parents. If you (or someone you know) is expecting and have the blessing of new life stirring in your womb/family, please let me know so we can get copies to you/your family. It’s filled with great prayers and reflections during this very special time in your life.
…Praise God – many of our members got engaged this Christmas. We would love to share in your very special time in your life. We also have a Saint Ambrose Wedding Fair coming up on Sunday, January 22, 2017. Let us know how we can help (FrBob@StAmbrose.us).
…This past week we received word that Bishop Lennon gave us permission (before he retired) to begin the process of creating a plan to address many of the needs of our Church. Over the next six months, we will discuss and develop plans to upgrade the interior (flooring, lighting, sound system, Church art, etc) along with some infrastructure needs (HVAC, etc). Watch for more details as we begin the conversation to develop a good plan for our community.
…We started the conversation with our Pastoral Council leadership team this past week. They will be instrumental in outlining a process for us to follow. The PPC is currently working on a number of projects. This coming week they will be reviewing and updating our Parish Leaders Manual which helps all of our parish groups and leaders have the ‘best information’ to lead the ministries and programs for our parish.
…There’s one special need our parish has for this New Year. As we prepare for the 10th anniversary of our Summer Festival, we need some new people to serve on the Planning Team. We will be meeting again on Tuesday, January 17 at 7:00 pm. Please consider joining us and helping our parish community. Let your light shine.
…This weekend we welcome all of our young people who are preparing for their First Eucharist this spring. They come for the Rite of Enrollment. They, and their families, are committed to using this special time to help their entire family grow closer to the Lord and deepen their understanding of the gift of the Eucharist. Please keep our second graders in your prayers. Pick up a prayer scroll this weekend to keep one of our young people preparing for First Eucharist and Confirmation in your prayers. Thank you.
…With the holidays coming to a close, this week’s bulletin includes the up-to-date offertory/collection numbers. Thank you so much for your generous support for our parish always and at Christmas. Thanks also to the good members who take seriously the responsibility of counting the collections each and every week. God bless you for the many ways you keep the LIGHT of Christ strong and alive in our parish community. You will notice that with Christmas on Sunday, our collection is down about $16,000 over last year. Any help you can give to support our parish would be greatly appreciated. If all of us do an extra dollar, or two, as part of our regular collection, we can have the resources we need to support our parish. Thank you.
…Over the next few weeks your annual tax statements will be sent home to you. No statement can express my sincere thanks for all you do in support for our parish community. Last weekend’s bulletin contained several ‘thank you notes’ YOU received. They are one more articulation and expression of the good you do in the name of the Lord for so many. We are a beacon of Christ’s light and hope. Thank you so much.
…In these early days of the New Year, how can we continue to resolve to live in the light and share the light and love of Christ to others? Be assured of my prayers for you and your family. Together may we rejoice in the LIGHT and warmth of Christ. Have a great week.